HTA Design and Apex Airspace hosted an event ‘Building Up, Not Out’ at the NLA on the 23rd of May 2018. It was a full house with over 180 people attending. The event was introduced by Ben Derbyshire, President of the RIBA, urging the audience to be mindful of design quality. Riette Oosthuizen, HTA Design’s Planning Partner followed by introducing an emerging planning policy framework much more supportive and actively encouraging rooftop development. The potential for rooftop development across London is huge: research HTA Design LLP undertook on behalf of Apex Airspace demonstrated the potential to be in the region of 2,500 homes in Camden alone, and 180,000 across the whole of London. With challenging housing numbers to deliver, we need to consider every possible source of housing delivery. Val Bagnall, Managing Director of Apex Airspace, talked about the journey the company has been on in growing an exciting pipeline of work developing London’s rooftops, and in particular the value in this type of development to produce a funding source for affordable housing. John Myers, co-founder of London Yimby, gave a fascinating presentation on why people should be more motivated to instigate change in their local area.
London Yimby is a grassroots campaign to end the housing crisis with the support of local people. Ascha Lychett Pedersen introduced Wild Streets, an app she is developing to use augmented reality to green the urban environment. This type of technology could be hugely beneficial in giving people immediate access to a visual representation, introducing trees and planting and eventually possibly even buildings. A lively discussion followed with views on who housing would be for, how affordable housing delivery and wider affordability can be ensured, and, how to work with residents in situ.